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Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 Review

A super high-quality and spacious single wall pyramid with a high price tag to match its quality.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $715 List | $715.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  DCF construction is lightweight and waterproof, super spacious, four season use
Cons:  Requires lashing two poles together for setup, very expensive, no floor or bug protection built in
Manufacturer:   Hyperlite Mountain Gear
By Amber King & Andy Wellman  ⋅  Oct 29, 2019
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 19
  • Livability - 30% 9
  • Weight - 25% 4
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 9
  • Adaptability - 10% 8
  • Ease of Set-Up - 10% 8

Our Verdict

To cut out a few ounces from their ultralight tents, most manufacturers adopt a smaller, tighter design that eliminates some of the material weight. However, this often means that ultralight tents are shorter, narrower, and smaller than is genuinely comfortable for two people — a bummer of a trade-off! For that reason, we chose to recognize the Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 as the most spacious ultralight tent in this review. At only 1 pound 7.7 ounces, it is indeed super light, but you won't have to compromise on space with this large Mid. Its rectangular shaped interior is taller than any other tent we tested, and also encompasses more floor space, providing ample room for two to spread out to sleep and store their gear, with room enough for the dog as well. If you are looking for a very versatile shelter that won't force you to compromise on space or comfort, we highly recommend taking a look at the UltaMid 2.


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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $715.00 at Backcountry
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Pros DCF construction is lightweight and waterproof, super spacious, four season useAmazingly light, four-sided weather protection, ample space for two, double doorsGreat weather protection, lightweight, adaptableRoomy, easy to setup, fully enclosed, affordableUnder a pound, bombproof dyneema construction, ultralight stakes included
Cons Requires lashing two poles together for setup, very expensive, no floor or bug protection built inExpensive, doesn’t include necessary stakesExpensiveHeavier, design not quite as wind stable as double vestibule optionsExpensive, single pole set-up takes a little practice
Bottom Line A super high-quality and spacious single wall pyramid with a high price tag to match its quality.Ample space and exceptional performance in all metrics makes this our favorite ultralight shelter.This is the shelter you want when waiting out a storm.An affordable fully enclosed single person shelter that we love.Our favorite ultralight shelter for strictly solo adventures.
Rating Categories UltaMid 2 ZPacks Duplex Flex Upgrade Tarptent StratoSpire Li Gossamer Gear The One Tarptent Aeon Li
Livability (30%)
10
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9
10
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9
10
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10
10
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9
10
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8
Weight (25%)
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4
10
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9
Weather Resistance (25%)
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7
Adaptability (10%)
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4
Ease Of Set Up (10%)
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Specs UltaMid 2 ZPacks Duplex Flex... Tarptent... Gossamer Gear The... Tarptent Aeon Li
Type Floorless Pyramid Single wall tent w/ sewn in bug mesh and floor Single wall tent w/ removable floor and bug netting Single wall tent w/ sewn in bug mesh and floor Single wall tent w/ sewn in bug mesh and floor
Weight with all components 2.32 lbs 1.8 lbs 1.60 lbs 1.68 lbs 1.09 lbs
Measured Weight of All Included Shelter Parts Mid: 1 lb. 7.7 oz. (bug insert with floor = 22 oz, bug insert w/o floor = 13.4 oz.) Total: 1 lb. 5 oz Tent: 19.7 oz, Guy lines and clips: 1.2 oz, Stuff sack: .3 oz. (Flex upgrade: 11oz) Total: 1 lb.10 oz, Floor and bug net: 11.5 oz, Fly: 14.1 oz Total: 1 lb. 6 oz., Tent: 1 lb. 5.1 oz., Extra tie outs: 0.5 oz., Stuff sack: 0.4 oz., Optional aluminum poles: 5.7 oz. Total: 1 lb. 1 oz., Tent with Bathtub floor and bug net: 15.8 oz., Stakes: 1.7 oz.
Stakes Included? No No Yes No Yes
Poles Needed for Set-up? Yes, unless suspended from the peak Yes w/o flex kit
No w/ flex kit
Yes Yes Yes
Capacity 2 person 2 person 2 person 1 person 1 person
Max Floor Dimensions (inches) 83" x 107" 45" x 90" 86" x 45" 88" x 34" 88" x 30"
Peak Height (inches) 64" 48" 45" 46" 47"
Fabric DCF8 Dyneema Composite Fabrics .51 oz/sqyd DCF Fabric Dyneema Composite Fabrics 7D high tenacity nylon-blended sil/pu coating Dyneema Composite Fabrics
Packed Size (inches) 8.5" x 6" x 5.5" 7" x 13" 16" x 4" 6" x 9" 14" x 4"
Floor Area 63 sq ft 28.13 sq ft 26.88 sq ft 19.55 sq ft 18.3 sq ft
Doors 1 2 2 1 1
Interior Pockets 0 2 2 1 1
Number of Poles 2 trekking poles 4 2 trekking poles 2 trekking poles 1 trekking pole
Number of Tie Outs 8 8 8 10 7
1-person version? No No No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

We choose to recognize the HMG UltaMid 2 as the most spacious of the ultralight tent options in this review, with excellent wind and weather protection, as well as privacy. It begs the question: why wouldn't you want this Mid for your backpacking trip and thru-hike, except for the incredibly high price tag? But, seeing as how it's entirely made of Dyneema Composite Fiber (DCF), formerly known as Cuben Fiber, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised.

While it provides great weather protection, it also offers awesome four-season adaptability, which is a considerable advantage over other three-season tents. One of our only complaints was that this tent is so tall that a single adjustable trekking pole is not tall enough to support it, thus requiring you to lash together two poles, hang it from above, or get creative. To help with this problem, and make it more versatile for those not carrying trekking poles, we wish that HMG sold a modular collapsible pole that could work, but alas they do not. This complaint aside, if you have the money and want one of the most spacious and weather-resistant ultralight tents available, then check it out.

Performance Comparison


With plenty of room for two people  we used the UltaMid 2 on a camping trip in the bottom of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
With plenty of room for two people, we used the UltaMid 2 on a camping trip in the bottom of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Livability


This tent has a ton of interior space, enough for two people to comfortably sleep, store gear, and for a dog or two to join in the fun. It is also quite tall, with steep walls, offering plenty of room for sitting up inside and moving about, luxuries that are not present in the small dedicated-pole two-person tents.


However, this Mid does not have a floor or built-in bug protection. Hyperlite Mountain Gear offers two different solutions to solve this problem in a modular manner — a bug insert without a floor or with a floor. We tested the bug insert without floor while working on this review (all scores and data in this review reflectonly the mid without insert), and while it worked well to accomplish its purpose, it adds notable weight, expense, and especially bulk when in use, just like most modular inserts.

Lacking a floor  a ground cloth of some sort is key for camping on just about any surface. Obvious in this photo is the incredible amount of interior space the UltaMid 2 affords  plenty of storage on this solo ski  adventure.
Lacking a floor, a ground cloth of some sort is key for camping on just about any surface. Obvious in this photo is the incredible amount of interior space the UltaMid 2 affords, plenty of storage on this solo ski adventure.

Having only a single wall made out of a non-permeable fabric, condensation build-up inside can be a problem. There is a mesh-covered vent at the apex of the pyramid that opens and closes to combat this. Also, added ventilation is available by setting it up with a gap above the ground so that air can circulate through.

On this mid summer night  we also tested the UltaMid 2 with the floorless netting insert  which weighs 13.4 ounces and costs $145. It did a great job protecting us from the mosquitoes and is nice to have as a modular option for this tent.
On this mid summer night, we also tested the UltaMid 2 with the floorless netting insert, which weighs 13.4 ounces and costs $145. It did a great job protecting us from the mosquitoes and is nice to have as a modular option for this tent.

Weight


On Hyperlite Mountain Gear's website, this tent lists as weighing only 1 pound 1.6 ounces, with the included guy lines. However, on our independent scale, we weighed it numerous times at 1 lb. 7.7 ounces with guy lines; a difference of six ounces. Included with your purchase is the tent itself, cordage for each of the eight staking points along the perimeter of the tent, extra cordage for guying out the sides or rigging it from a tree, and the DCF stuff sack. You will need to purchase your own stakes separately, have two adjustable trekking poles with a means to attach them for added height, and some ground cover for sleeping on inside this floorless tent.


The UltaMid 2 comes nice and folded  and also comes with precut cordage for staking it out  as well as some extra cord for further guying out or more advanced rigging. You will need to add a minimum of five stakes  as well as two trekking poles and a means of lashing them together  to complete this setup.
The UltaMid 2 comes nice and folded, and also comes with precut cordage for staking it out, as well as some extra cord for further guying out or more advanced rigging. You will need to add a minimum of five stakes, as well as two trekking poles and a means of lashing them together, to complete this setup.

Weather Resistance


When it comes to weather resistance, there is no doubt that DCF fiber is in a league of its own, offering many advantages over its main rival, SilNylon. DCF is not only lighter than silnylon but also functionally totally waterproof, providing the ultimate in rain and snow protection. It also doesn't absorb water, meaning it won't stretch and sag when it gets wet, is less prone to ripping, and is very easy to fix in the field. The fact that this Mid used DCF is a major reason why it ranks so high in this metric.


Not only do we think this tent is excellent at protecting you from the water, but it is also highly wind resistant. Set up low to the ground without a gap, it is incredibly wind resistant and offers an exceptional level of competition.

Here is the HMG UltaMid 2  set up close to the ground with no gap for the best weather protection  taking a heavy wind  although you wouldn't be able to tell by this photo. This was the most weather protective option in this review.
Here is the HMG UltaMid 2, set up close to the ground with no gap for the best weather protection, taking a heavy wind, although you wouldn't be able to tell by this photo. This was the most weather protective option in this review.

Adaptability


This Mid has a fixed design, and essentially can only be set up in one shape. However, it does have the adaptability of using two lashed together trekking poles for structure, or a stick or paddle, or it can also be hung from a tree branch if you can find a suitable one. Despite the fixed design, it is one of the most adaptable tents because of its four-season capabilities, and the fact that it is stable in almost any conceivable location.


In the winter, having no floor gives one the option of digging out the ground beneath it if set up in snow or on a glacier, making it a good base camp tent. Worth noting is that if used in this manner, DCF fabric has a much lower tolerance for heat than silnylon, increasing the risk of cooking inside of it significantly. The 3' long stake-out cords included with purchase, combined with line locks on eight separate points along the perimeter, make this tent easy to adjust up or down for either more airflow or more wind protection as needed, and are versatile enough to wrap around rocks or bury in the snow if the ground will not take stakes. All of these features work to make it one adaptable option!

On a late spring ski mountaineering trip in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado  we accidentally outwalked the last dry campsites  and set up the UltaMid 2 here on the only patch of not-snow we could find for miles. The site was not flat  but the versatility of the pyramid design meant it adapted well.
On a late spring ski mountaineering trip in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado, we accidentally outwalked the last dry campsites, and set up the UltaMid 2 here on the only patch of not-snow we could find for miles. The site was not flat, but the versatility of the pyramid design meant it adapted well.

Ease of Set-up


In theory, this is an easy shelter to set up, BUT for one tiny headache — it is too tall for one adjustable trekking pole. HMG recommends that you buy "ultra mid pole straps" from them, which allows you to easily lash two poles together to provide the needed height (these look exactly like utility ski straps commonly used by backcountry skiers, so you could also use some of those). Of course, this means if you are base-camping, then two poles are tied up in the tent instead of just one, and it takes more time to do this and adjust them every day than if only one was needed. In our field testing, we managed to find tall flat rocks that we could stack on the ground and balance the pole on top of, which seemed to work just fine when tensioned in place, as long as you can find some suitable rocks.


Setting this tent up is as easy as staking out all four corners, then crawling inside and propping up the center with your already lashed together trekking poles. Adding stakes to the wall midpoints and door, as well as adjusting the tightness, which is made easy by the line-locks in place at the staking points, is the last step. This process is easy for one person, even in a storm, but takes a little longer due to having to lash the poles together. Just remember to bring your own stakes, pole straps, and adjustable poles.

Our longest trekking pole was not tall enough for the UltaMid 2. Here we are trying to stack rocks to bridge the gap and fully tension the canopy. HMG recommends you carry two straps to tether your poles together into a long enough center pole  which we unfortunately did not have.
Our longest trekking pole was not tall enough for the UltaMid 2. Here we are trying to stack rocks to bridge the gap and fully tension the canopy. HMG recommends you carry two straps to tether your poles together into a long enough center pole, which we unfortunately did not have.

Value


This tent is super expensive and quite the investment. For those familiar with DCF, this price tag should not be a surprise. That said, you must pay for the very best materials, and the craftsmanship and design of this tent match the cost. We think this tent does indeed provide good value. Especially for couples seeking a tent that is lightweight and incredibly weather resistant. It works great for four-seasons use, the affinity to function as a base camp or cook tent. Those that appreciate all of these things will find great value in this big investment.

While the UltaMid 2 makes a great basecamp tent  and is adaptable for use on snow (try digging down in the snow to create a far taller covered room to hang out in!)  that simply wasn't going to happen in the Weminuche Wilderness if there was even a hint of flat enough bare ground (there barely was).
While the UltaMid 2 makes a great basecamp tent, and is adaptable for use on snow (try digging down in the snow to create a far taller covered room to hang out in!), that simply wasn't going to happen in the Weminuche Wilderness if there was even a hint of flat enough bare ground (there barely was).

Conclusion


We chose to recognize the Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 as a super spacious ultralight option suitable for any four-season adventure. While the price is high, this attribute is a worthy point to consider when comparing it many of the very tiny, cramped, and uncomfortable ultralight tents available today; you don't have to trade comfort to have lightweight performance.

The UltaMid 2 is very adaptable to any season or pitching platform. Here we are in Chicago Basin  home to a whole grip of the San Juan Mountain's highest peaks  hoping for a summit ski descent the next day.
The UltaMid 2 is very adaptable to any season or pitching platform. Here we are in Chicago Basin, home to a whole grip of the San Juan Mountain's highest peaks, hoping for a summit ski descent the next day.


Amber King & Andy Wellman